Florence Mussat, M.D.
680 N Lake Shore Dr. #1030 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 751-9000

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What Causes Dark Circles Under the Eyes, and How Can You Treat Them?

Every time you see your face in the mirror, does it surprise you how dark and drooping your lower eyelids are? Do friends or family make comments about how sad and tired you look, even though you’re happy and well-rested?
Dark circles under the lower eyelids are widespread in both men and women and often also come with bags, making you appear older than you are.

Causes and Risk Factors Treated at Home

The good news is, you can treat some of the causes and risk factors leading to dark circles under the eyes at home.

Extreme fatigue: Sleep deprivation can cause dark circles to form under your eyes, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels to become visible beneath your skin.

Eye strain: This phenomenon can cause blood vessels around your eyes to enlarge, and as a result, the skin surrounding your eyes may darken.

Allergic reactions: When accompanied by eye dryness, this can trigger dark circles as your body releases histamines, causing blood vessels to dilate and become more visible beneath your skin.

Dehydration: When your body is not receiving adequate amounts of water, the skin beneath your eyes may begin to look dull, and your eyes appear sunken.

Overexposure to the sun: Too much sun — especially around the eyes — produces an excess of melanin, causing darker pigmentation in the surrounding skin.

Causes and Risk Factors Treated With Surgery

If home remedies are not effective in getting rid of dark undereye circles and bags, schedule a visit with Dr. Florence Mussat at her Chicago plastic surgery office to learn more about how blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery can help you regain your fresh, vibrant look.

Consider these eauses and risk factors leading to dark circles under the eyes that require expert medical advice.

Older age: Loss of fatty tissue and the thinning of the skin around the eyes is part of the aging process, making dark circles appear more prominent in older adults.

Genetics: Dark circles can be hereditary. Having family members with dark undereye circles probably means you are more predisposed to have them as well.

Natural aging: As you get older, you lose the fat, collagen, and elastin needed to maintain your skin’s elasticity, resulting in the darkening of the area below your eyes.

As part of the aging process, the body gradually stops producing collagen and elastin, which are proteins essential for plump, healthy, and elastic skin. Without these proteins, the skin loses its elastic qualities and begins to sag. Muscle tone deteriorates, and fat diminishes. The natural aging process can affect virtually any area of the body — including the region around the eyes.

As a result of this loss of collagen and elastin, the upper eyelids often start drooping. When severe enough, this can impede the line of vision, lead to sagging lower eyelids, and cause dark circles or “bags” under the eyes.

Regain That Happy, Youthful Look

If you want to make sure your eyes’ appearance reflects the way you feel, schedule a personal consultation with board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Florence Mussat in Chicago, IL, or call (312) 751-9000 today!